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Top financial concern in retirement: high medical expenses

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High medical expenses in retirement are Americans’ biggest financial worry, according to new research by Bankrate.com.

Based on interviews with 1,003 adults living in the continental U.S., the report shows that nearly 3 in 10 Americans (28 percent) cite high post-retirement medical expenses as a chief concern. The highest-income households (those earning $75,000-plus per year) are more concerned about high medical expenses than the general population. Running out of money is the biggest fear for millennials (18-29 year-olds) and a close second overall. One-third of Americans say they can’t save more for retirement because they have just enough money for their day-to-day expenses.

About 1 in 7 Americans (14 percent) attribute the financial gap to other family obligations. An additional 10 percent flag student loan debt (millennials were more than twice as likely to give this answer than other age groups). However, about 3 in 10 (29 percent) of survey respondents are satisfied with the amount they are currently saving.

Working Americans are realistic about Social Security’s role in their eventual retirements: just 13 percent expect it to account for all or most of their retirement income, while another 14 percent expect it to account for half their retirement income. About one in four believe they won’t get anything.

“The average Social Security payout is only around $15,000 per year, so people are realistic to think they’ll need to supplement that income,” said Sheyna Steiner, senior investing analyst at Bankrate.com. “But despite all the gloom and doom about the future of Social Security, most Americans are optimistic that they’ll get at least something from the program. That even includes millennials: 63 percent of them think Social Security will fund at least some of their retirement several decades from now.”

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be viewed here.

Go to the following page to view charts recapping highlights from the survey.